When the Civil War ended, over 400 African American soldiers and sailors returned home to Kent County. A small handful of these men formed the Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ association dedicated to the principles in their motto, “Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty.” In 1908, they built the Charles Sumner Hall, which served for many decades as a meeting hall for themselves, their Woman’s Relief Corps and the surrounding community. In the 1990s, the building was abandoned. A major restoration effort is currently underway to restore what is the last surviving African American Civil W ar veterans’ lodge of its kind left standing in the nation.
Preservation Incorporated is sponsoring an open house at the CHARLES SUMNER HALL, 206 S. Queen Street, Chestertown MD on Friday, June 5, 2009 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.